Post count: 1255

From a 2003 . . . 2003 . . story in the Tampa Tribune

“Published July 6, 2003

The warning signs were clear: The Piney Point fertilizer plant was headed for disaster.

State regulators knew in 1995 that the owner, Mulberry Corp., was struggling. If it went under, the state would be stuck with hundreds of millions of gallons of highly acidic wastewater in towering gypsum stacks perched on the edge of Tampa Bay.

A review of hundreds of files by the St. Petersburg Times found that the state, instead of intervening, bent the rules by not closing the gypsum stacks as the law requires and by not acting on warnings that the owner was in financial trouble.

A bad situation soon become dangerous. State officials finally took control in 2001 – after the owner walked away.”